Our NFU Panel Membership & NFU Legal Assistance Scheme
As one of 16 law firms nationwide on the NFU legal Panel, we are the panel firm covering Cheshire and Derbyshire
1. Our NFU Panel Membership means that, if you are an NFU Farmer & Grower Member (though not Countryside or Professional) then upon production of evidence of your membership you are entitled to:-
1.1 A free initial consultation with us. This initial consultation will probably take 15-30 minutes and is to identify and discuss the problem; identify possible courses of action available to you; and to give a broad indication of likely costs and time scale.
1.2 A discount on our fees in relation to matters connected with the Members’ farming, growing or related businesses. The discount equates to approximately 12.5%. The discount does not apply to disbursements, or to the fees of anyone (for example a Barrister or an Expert Witness) whom we instruct on your behalf, although we are constantly considering ways in which we can achieve further savings for our NFU Clients.
2. We also allow to Countryside Members a 5% discount on our normal fees.
3. If in addition to your NFU Farmer & Grower Membership you also subscribe to NFU’s Legal Assistance Scheme, then in appropriate cases we can seek assistance with legal expenses on your behalf.
4. NFU’s Legal Assistance Scheme:-
4.1 on a discretionary basis the Scheme provides assistance with legal expenses relating to contentious legal matters, i.e. where there is some kind of dispute. Assistance is not available if the other party to the dispute is also an NFU member, though if this situation arises the Scheme may provide assistance towards the cost of mediation. We operate an in-house mediation system called Direct Solutions, which may be suitable where the parties to a dispute are not our existing clients.
4.2 Awards cannot be retrospective so it is vital, if you may qualify, that you submit (or we submit on your behalf) the necessary application form at the outset.
4.3 The Scheme can award between 30% and 75% of your (VAT exclusive, if you are registered for VAT) legal costs up to a maximum of £4000. In limited circumstances, funding can be provided beyond this, by the Scheme’s National Legal Board.
4.4 In applying for assistance from the Scheme you must consent to information about your case being provided to NFU.
4.5 Awards are paid by way of reimbursement to you of your outlay. In other words, you remain responsible throughout for payment of our invoices, and must first pay an invoice in order to be entitled to a payment from the Scheme.
5. If you have any queries about the operation of the Scheme or generally then please contact the BC LLP lawyer who is acting for you.